Far-right ideologist and self-confessed provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos resigned from Breitbart News on Tuesday amid a flurry of criticism over remarks he made over a year ago. In a video that resurfaced online on Monday, Milo appeared to condone relations with minors. He stated, “there are certainly people who are capable of giving consent at a younger age.” As soon as the video made its resurgence, organisers of the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC retracted an invitation for Yiannopoulos to speak at their event. On the same day, book publishers Simon & Schuster also confirmed that they had decided to cancel their publication of the conservative commentator’s book Dangerous.
At a news conference held in New York on Tuesday, the far-right commentator apologised for his “poor choice of words” and iterated that the barrage of criticism he experienced was a “horrible, degrading and humiliating experience.” However, he stated that his words were taken out of context and he was referring to his own experience of being abused as a child. Yiannopoulos affirmed that the decision to part ways with the alt-right website Breitbart News was his own as he didn’t want his past comments to overshadow his colleagues’ “important work.” He then went on to thank his alt-right employers for giving him an outlet for his conservative and libertarian views that would otherwise go unnoticed.
This isn’t the first time that Yiannopoulos’s divisive comments have been in the spotlight. He was banned from Twitter last year for making controversial comments on race, religion and sex that incited racial attacks on African-American actress Leslie Jones. In consequence to his lewd and divisive rhetoric, violent protests erupted at the University of Berkeley which forced a cancellation of a speech he was going to make on 1 Feb. It would be safe to assume that the right-wing provocateur would have toned down his comments after these previous displays of public outrage. Wrong. He thrives on controversy. When Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton disdainfully read one of his headlines during one of her rallies, the right-wing commentator considered it a triumph. “Little did I realise when I coined the #FeminismIsCancer hashtag that it would end up in the mouth of the Democratic nominee for President.”
What’s next for Milo?
Now that he has parted ways with Breitbart News, Yiannopoulos will be launching his own media website in the next coming months. In addition, he will have more of a focus on entertainment and university campus tours. The World has not heard the last of Milo Yiannopoulos and his divisive rhetoric.